We have no video games or hand held electronic games in our house. Zero. None. Nadda. Nothing.
Actually, that's not completely true. We have a little box you can plug into the t.v. to play Pac Man. My kids only source of video game entertainment is a game I played 25 years ago.
Ya...I’ll just give you a second to let that one sink in.
*whistling, tapping fingers on desk*
Typically when I tell other mother’s this, I get one of two reactions.
Shock and Awe: How do you survive?
Solidarity: You go girl!
For the record, my solidarity sisters usually have video games. I have yet, in fact, to run into another mother who doesn't have a either a video game or personal gaming devices for their kids. If I did, I'd hug her, then grab her by the shoulders and shake while screaming...Why? I need to know why you chose not to, too!
Because it's not like I set out to be a video game free house, it just sort of happened. When Son No. 1 was younger, he showed no interest in video games and because Son No. 2 will do whatever Son No. 1 does, Son No. 2 had no interest either.
Then Son No. 1 hit grade 2 and as the year progressed suddenly realized all the friends in his class had video games. This culminated in a frowny, foot stompin’ walk home from school one day where he proclaimed “I’m the only one in my class without a Wii”
Yep, I replied, pinning on my World’s Meanest Mother Badge, you’re probably right. And just to ensure my top status, I added in....here’s an idea. If you want to ride a bike, how about you go outside and ride a bike instead of pretending to do it on a video game.
I know, I rock don’t I? There’s reasons why I never make their high point of the day list.
That Christmas I gave the kids the option – individual gifts like we usually do or a video game for the family.
Much to my surprise, they chose individual. This, of course, has not stopped them from complaining they don’t have a video game three to five times a week, every week since then.
So you’re probably wondering what we do instead of video games. Let’s see....there’s adventure walks, then there’s this and of course these.
Yesterday we played library in Son No. 2’s room.
Plus there’s always the old standby Lego. Lots and lots of Lego. Personally I think every box of lego should come with Tylenol for the parents. But that’s just me.
I'm not gonna lie, doing this stuff takes up a lot of my time. Time when I could be, I dunno, showering or sleeping.
My kids aren’t completely electronic device deprived. This summer they discovered the wonderful world of Club Penguin and for a mere $5.95 a month, I found myself the perfect nanny.
So why am I telling you all of this?
Because I’m wavering.
I’m sort of feeling bad that every single one of their friends has some sort of video gaming device and they don’t.
But then I waver back the other way and think, well shit...they’ve gotten this far without one and it’s not like they don’t get to play anything. We’ve got three computers in this house, they have access to Club Penguin pretty much any time they want.
Then I waver back because I think....I wonder how much time I’d have to myself if I got them a video game.
Don’t judge. I'm just saying your thought bubbles out loud.
So here I am, riding the waves of wavering and wondering what I should do. And Christmas is just around the corner.
To video game or not to video game, that is the question.
Addendum: Thanks to everyone who left a comment. There were two things that really helped me make a video game decision - Emma who used the weed/crack analogy and my friend who shouted out to me in the school parking lot "Don't Do It!!"
Right now, neither of the boys is really clamouring for a video game - but when they get older and start going to their friends' houses just to play, that's when I'm going to go out and by the best freakin' video game out there - so my house will be the ones kids come to - as Emma so succinctly put it - I will be the house with crack when all the others have weed.
Also, a special shout-out to @Chris_Eh_Young who also pointed out that his Wii calls him fat.
My kids smacking my ass to make it jiggle is enough for me thankyouverymuch."